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Fewest matches needed to score four Premier League hat tricks

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There a few better feelings in football than seeing the ball hit the back of the net.

Seeing the ball find its way past the goalkeeper three times in one match is even better, though. And achieving that in the Premier League probably goes one further, too.

Some of the greatest goal-scorers of all time have graced England’s top flight, and with them has come an abundance of hat tricks over the years. A select few have netted four or more hat-tricks during their spells in the Premier League.

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With Erling Haaland placing himself among the best marksmen the league has ever seen by hitting that very milestone in no time at all, we look at the players to have taken the fewest games to score four Premier League hat-tricks.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole was an exceptional goal-scorer / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Just making the top ten is Andy Cole, who scored a total of five hat tricks throughout his Premier League career.

His first four came in rapid time, taking just 137 appearances to notch them. After scoring three in Manchester United’s 7-0 win over Blackburn in October 1997, however, it took him almost another two years to notch another.

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero is a Manchester City icon / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Sergio Aguero lit up the Premier League throughout his iconic stint with Manchester City. During his decade with the club, the Argentine notched no fewer than a Premier League-high 12 hat-tricks.

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The last of those came in January 2020, over eight years after his first in just his fourth league appearance for the Citizens.

It took him until October 2015 to get his fourth hat trick, scoring five as City thrashed Newcastle 6-1.

Matt Le Tissier of Southampton

Matt Le Tissier was a glorious player in his day / Phil Cole/GettyImages

By the time the Premier League came into being, Matt Le Tissier was already a well-established baller with Southampton.

His First Division scoring form didn’t alter with the rebranding of England’s top flight and within 120 matches had bagged the last of his four Premier League hat-tricks – the last of which came in a 4-3 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the beginning of the 1995/96 campaign.

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Harry Kane

A goal threat of the highest order / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

One of the finest goal-scorers that the Premier League has ever seen, it’s no surprise to find Harry Kane on this list.

The Tottenham legend has fired hot throughout his career with the north London club and didn’t waste time racking up the hat-tricks. He grabbed his first in March 2015 and had registered four just two years later after a treble in a 4-0 victory over Stoke in the 2016/17 campaign.

Michael Owen

Michael Owen is the Premier League’s youngest ever hat trick-scorer / ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

We are onto the two-figure club now.

Quite astonishingly, Michael Owen took just 99 games to score four hat-tricks in the Premier League. He remains the youngest player to ever score one with his first in 1998 and he had picked up his fourth by September 2000.

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The Ballon d’Or winner went on to score a fairly decent eight Premier League hat-tricks throughout his career.

LIVERPOOL V BLACKBUR

Alan Shearer holds the record for most Premier League goals / Getty Images/GettyImages

The Premier League’s all-time leading goal-scorer (for now, anyway) rather unsurprisingly makes the cut for this list too.

Although he spent four years in the top flight with Southampton, scoring one hat-trick (on his league debut no less) in 118 appearances, it took Alan Shearer just 92 outings to notch four in the Premier League era as his goal-scoring form took off at Blackburn.

He’d eventually score 11 hat-tricks in England’s top-tier, contributing to his league-high 260 strikes.

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Robbie Fowler

Robbie Fowler was hugely prolific for Liverpool / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Taking even fewer games to reach four Premier League hat-tricks was Robbie Fowler.

No Englishman has taken fewer games to reach the milestone than Fowler. He completed the feat with a hat-trick against Arsenal in December 1995

It was his fourth Premier League hat-trick in just two years after his debut in the competition with Liverpool.

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez was talismanic for Liverpool / Paul Gilham/GettyImages

Another iconic Reds figure, Luis Suarez was a serial bagsman throughout his two-and-a-half-year stay on Merseyside.

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He scored a whopping six hat-tricks in that time, netting his first two against Norwich, his third against Wigan and then scoring three in a 4-1 win over West Brom just 79 appearances after his Premier League debut.

Man Utd v Sunderland

An old-school finisher / Michael Steele/GettyImages

The epitome of a fox in the box, Ruud van Nistelrooy was a remarkable goal-scorer, netting 95 Premier League goals in just 150 outings for Manchester United. In total, 15 of that total came in hat-tricks.

The Dutchman bagged his first not long after his arrival in 2001 and notched his fourth around a year and a half later, putting Charlton to the sword with a treble in a 4-1 win at the end of the 2002/03 season.

Erling Braut Håland

A machine / Visionhaus/GettyImages

No one even comes near Haaland.

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The Norwegian took very little time to acclimatise to Premier League football and has immediately taken goal-scoring to a different level by anyone’s standards.

It took the striker five outings to record his first two hat-tricks before notching a third as City ran out 6-3 winners in the Manchester derby. That was just his eighth league appearance for the club.

After going over three months without a hat trick (how dare he?), the Norwegian finally got his fourth in January 2023 as the Citizens overcame Wolves 3-0 in Haaland’s 19th league appearance.



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EPL

Player rating as Red Devils seal passage to Wembley

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Manchester United secured their place in only a second major final in six seasons on Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Fred decided the game, bumping up an already comfortable aggregate lead from the first leg to 5-0, setting up a clash with Newcastle at Wembley this month.

The hosts had mild penalty appeals when Alejandro Garnacho went down under pressure from Neco Williams and Willy Boly. But nearly half an hour had passed before either side had a clear sight of goal, with a powerful Casemiro header saved by Wayne Hennessey’s outstretched right foot.

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Despite chasing an aggregate deficit, Forest had seen very little of the ball but probably should have taken the lead on a rare foray forward. A throw-in gave Brennan Johnson the chance to dribble his way through, but the pacey Welshman’s finish straight at Tom Heaton lacked conviction.

Antony’s cleanly hit strike from outside the box in the closing stages of the first half had Hennessey worried as he flew to his left, seeing the ball just rise over the crossbar.

Wout Weghorst then struck the post right before the interval after an otherwise quiet opening 45 minutes from the Dutchman, while Forest winger Emmanuel Dennis had his head in his hands when his goal-bound effort was inadvertently blocked by teammate Sam Surridge.

United had stronger penalty appeals not long into the second half when Weghorst nicked the ball in front of Forest defender Scott McKenna, whose attempt to clear then upended the forward. It was given the VAR treatment but the on-field decision surprisingly stood.

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Tempers flared a little around the hour mark, with tackles flying and Alejandro Garnacho involved in an ongoing fracas with Johnson and Williams on Forest’s right flank. The young Argentine forced Hennessey into a good save at the near post in one of his final acts before Ten Hag made a flurry of changes, including the return of Jadon Sancho after more than three months out.

With United already starting to turn the screw, those changes triggered the second half goals. The first went to Martial, capitalising on a rebound after fellow sub Marcus Rashford had seen an attempt blocked following an initial run by the Frenchman.

Sancho was then involved in the second goal not long after, feeding Bruno Fernandes on the right. The United skipper’s exquisite outside-of-the-foot ball to the far post was then put back across the box by Rashford for Fred to score an easy tap-in.

Heaton still had to have his wits about him late on to preserve his clean sheet, throwing a big hand up to parry a powerful drive from Danilo as Forest searched for a very late consolation. With the goal gaping, Surridge skied his own attempt on the rebound.

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GK: Tom Heaton – 6/10 – A deserved opportunity but hardly a busy night until a spectacular late save.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7/10 – Took up an interesting position relatively high up the pitch and often tucked inside that made it difficult for Dennis and made space for Antony.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – 7/10 – Commanded every situation.

CB: Raphael Varane – 7/10 – Always composed and in control.

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LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – Back after illness and can be satisifed with this performance.

CM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Another fine example of the type of performance that has really driven the whole team’s resurgence this season.

CM: Fred – 7/10 – Has been thriving alongside his fellow countryman and could play an awful lot more now that Christian Eriksen is out for a few months.

RM: Antony – 6/10 – Inches away from a great goal and posed a threat early on.

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AM: Bruno Fernandes (c) – 8/10 – Put in a star turn, especially after moving to the right in the seconc half. Went close to a goal of his own late on.

LM: Alejandro Garnacho – 7/10 – Becoming more and more at home in this team.

ST: Wout Weghorst – 6/10 – A quiet opening 45 minutes until hitting the post on the stroke of half-time. Probably deserved a penalty after the break.

Substitutes

SUB: Marcus Rashford (62′ for Garnacho) – 7/10

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SUB: Jadon Sancho (62′ for Antony) – 7/10

SUB: Anthony Martial (63′ for Weghorst) – 7/10

SUB: Victor Lindelof (80′ for Casemiro) – N/A

SUB: Harry Maguire (80′ for Varane) – N/A

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Manager

Erik ten Hag – 9/10 – Went with a strong side to avoid any slip-ups, but it was the substitutions and slight tweak in shape as Fernandes moved to the right that made the difference.

GK: Wayne Hennessey – 6/10 – Made a handful of saves to keep it 0-0 for at least a while.

RB: Neco Williams – 7/10 – Had his hands full with Garnacho but ultimately outlasted his imprssive opponent, before switching to the other side.

CB: Scott McKenna – 5/10 – Arguably fortunate not to give away a penalty for a swinging leg that caught Weghorst.

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CB: Willy Boly – 6/10 – Stood tall for long periods until the resistance finally broke.

LB: Renan Lodi – 5/10 – Barely touched the ball and had a tough night of defending.

CM: Remo Freuler (c) – 5/10 – Tough night against a very good United midfield.

CM: Orel Mangala – 5/10 – Similar story to Freuler, found it hard going.

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RM: Brennan Johnson – 6/10 – Should have done with a great first half chance that he created himself, having already done the hard bit.

AM: Gustavo Scarpa – 6/10 – Had promising moments just as in the first leg.

LM: Emmanuel Dennis – 5/10 – Late replacement for the injured Jesse Lingard and initially struggled to get into the game. Had one decent chance blocked by his own teammate.

ST: Sam Surridge – 5/10 – With little of the ball, frustrations got the better of him when he cleaned out Raphael Varane to pick up a yellow card.

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Substitutes

SUB: Alex Mighten (64′ for Johnson) – 5/10

SUB: Danilo (64′ for Freuler) – 6/10

SUB: Serge Aurier (65′ for Lodi) – 5/10

SUB: Oliver Hammond (86′ for Scarpa) – N/A

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SUB: Detlef Osong (86′ for Surridge) – N/A

Manager

Steve Cooper – 7/10 – Set up his side well and they did admirably to hold out for as long as they did.

Player of the match – Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)



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Jadon Sancho makes long-awaited Man Utd return

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Jadon Sancho made his first Man Utd appearance since October as a substitute in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford.

Sancho last featured in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea just over three months ago, a game that saw him substituted early in the second half on that occasion.

A combination of illness and a loss of form subsequently ruled the £73m winger out of action until the World Cup break. He then didn’t travel with the rest of the remaining United squad for a mid-season training camp in Spain, with manager Erik ten Hag stating he wasn’t fit enough.

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The United boss also suggested that Sancho had been struggling mentally. The player was placed on an individual programme to improve his fitness and eventually rejoined his teammates in first-team training two weeks ago. He wasn’t deemed ready to return against Forest in the first leg, but a decision was made earlier this week to include him in the squad for the second leg.

With United already leading 3-0 on aggregate, Ten Hag decided the time was right for Sancho to make his comeback with just under half an hour left to play in the game.

The former Borussia Dortmund star was greeted with ‘Sancho! Sancho! Sancho!’ chants from the Old Trafford crowd and immediately took up a ‘number 10’ role that was slightly different to what United fans have previously seen from him.



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Andre Ayew arrives in England for Premier League talks

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Ghana legend Andre Ayew is due to arrive in England on Wednesday evening, ahead of talks with a number of Premier League clubs, sources have confirmed to 90min.

The 33-year-old, once of Swansea and West Ham, is a free agent after leaving Qatari club Al-Sadd last month and his availability has not gone unnoticed.

90min revealed on deadline day that interest was emerging, but as he is a free agent there was never a need to get the deal done by the close of the window.

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Sources have confirmed to 90min that Ayew is arriving in London on Wednesday evening, with talks scheduled with a number of clubs.

Everton, who are failed to bring a striker in on deadline day, are one of the clubs due to meet with Ayew. But they are not alone in holding an interest in him, with as his former club West Ham, as well as Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest all keen.

Crystal Palace are also believed to be considering putting an offer to the veteran forward.

One potential issue is Ayew’s work permit situation – but his representatives are confident that on appeal someone with other 100 senior international caps would be able to secure one.

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